[fealty: allegiance or faithfulness, as in the fidelity owed by a vassal to his feudal lord.]
Here's why it came to mind this morning.
David Brooks, the oft times confused "conservative" pundit, who half-supported Obama against Hillary and McCain, wrote an Op-Ed this morning in the NY Times, called "THE OBAMA SLIDE."
In the piece, Brooks starts out with this:
"Two tides swept over American politics last winter. The first was the Obama tide. Barack Obama came into office with an impressive 70 percent approval rating. The second was the independent tide. Over the first months of this year, the number of people who called themselves either Democrats or Republicans declined, while the number who called themselves independents surged ahead."
Here's what I think, David, and perhaps some on the ground contact and communication with the new "independents" in question would help you, not to mention examining where the numbers you mentioned are actually taking place demographically and geographically.
I actually know some people personally who were staunch Republicans for decades, who supported G.W. Bush throughout his reign of ignorance and terror, who didn't support Obama in '08, and now are claiming they're independents.
It's a pathetic joke! Really!
The Republican Party has so debased itself and painted itself into the cartoon images of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, John Boenher, etc., etc., that the humiliation factor is off the scale, even for folks who don't mind hanging tea bags from their hats or assault weapons from their shoulders or who think dinosaurs and human beings lived side-by-side a mere 6,000 years ago or who imagine that The Republic of Texas could actually thrive as a country for more than a month. Plus, these folks, addled by the prescription drugs they take, paid for by the socialist programs of Medicare or Medicaid, by the way, know that the Republicans don't even stand a remote chance of winning anything back in 2010 or 2012.
So, these losers think they're going to find some dignity by re-enacting the Alamo or Custer's last stand, "Only this time..!" Well, you get it.
Are there Democrats in this crowd, David Brooks? You betcha! Who do you think the infamous Southern Strategy was directed against? Southern poor and working class Democrats, who knew they were better off with a Democrat in office for decades until Nixon and Pat Buchanan figured out that they were more fearful of empowered "Negros" than they were of staying poor.
Listen... Obama is not and never was a liberal. The liberals who are pissed at him, now, were seeing what they wanted to see in him during the election. He never espoused liberal philosophy, then, and he's not now. He's given more money to banks and big business than to social programs. He's said no to gay marriage and yes to military intervention in Afghanistan. Hardly a liberal!
Obama won so convincingly in '08 because he's a centrist, because true independents, as in people who actually think independently, not "birthers" who follow the dictates of any bellicose psychopath who will promise them things don't have to change, voted en masse for him.
And they will again.
But I can guarantee you this, David, by the time the election of 2012 rolls around, if not even 2010, these psuedo-independents will be voting for Joe Scarborough, or even Sarah Palin again, with the same fealty of any medieval vassal.